Digital Dentistry & Dental Technology Expo 2019

The team at the Institute of Digital Dentistry has recently returned from the Digital Dentistry and Dental Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Sydney, Australia. As a whole the industry is moving at a very fast rate and although there were no major new announcements comparing to what we learnt at IDS 2019, there are a few bits and pieces that we wanted to share. Below is a quick breakdown of the conference and what we learnt.  

Intraoral Scanners

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CEREC PRIMESCAN

  • Building on the success of the Omnicam, the CEREC Primescan still appears to be taking the lead in the market. Anecdotally, this is supported by the amount of hype at the CEREC booths. It appears to be very popular with dentists.
  • As we covered in our IDS article, the Primescan is a large improvement on almost all aspects of the Omnicam. Except the size, as it is significantly bigger than its predecessor.       
  • CEREC are also continuing support and offering purchase of the Omnicam paired on the Primescan Cart. This is a cheaper alternative to the Primescan itself, and provides a much larger screen and touch display. We are told it is launching at the end of the year on the Australian market. 
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3SHAPE TRIOS

  • The 3Shape TRIOS4 continues to look very promising with all the new features as we saw in IDS.
  • A new Bite Splint Module is going to be available for the chairside software within the next 3 months. This software is currently available on the lab version and is is finally coming to chairside. It is very easy to use and intuitive. Those of you who have 3D printers in-house will find this very handy. The main difference we found when compared to other software is that the 3Shape workflow is so simple. You can literally design a splint within a few minutes
  • The 3Shape TRIOS tooth morphology libraries have been improved greatly with many new libraries added
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3DISC HERON IOS

  • 3DISC Hiron IOS is another low-cost intraoral scanner that has entered the market this year.
  • Made by American company 3DISC, the Heron is a low weight and relatively low cost open architecture IOS.
  • We must of missed it at IDS but at this expo we had a chance to trial the scanner. Overall it did not blow as away in any aspect. It seems to be OK for quadrant scanning and full arch scanning but was not very fast.
  • We were told it does not work very well for edentulous scanning.
  • It is essentially another cheap IOS scanner with no design software. It stood out as being very lightweight and has a small rotating scanner head. It may find its place in the market for those looking for a scanner only option.
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PLANMECA EMERALD S

  • Nothing new from the Planmeca Emerald S, much the same at this conference as we saw at IDS.
  • The slim line tips seemed to be on show a lot and these are a welcomed addition to the otherwise large standard scanner tip.
  • The promising new Romexis software for the Planmeca ecosystem that was showcased at IDS has still not been launched. It looked great at IDS and its disappointing to hear it is still not available. We are told it still has some fixes they need to do before release. Launch is expected at the end of this year or early next year.

Much of the same for the rest of the IOS scanners such as the Medit i500 with its continuous software updates and optimizations. Many third party distributors seem to now be offering the Medit. No new news about the Carestream Dental CS3700 Prototype.

Milling Machines

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DG Shape aka Roland

  • Roland mills are now DG Shape.
  • The DWX-4W has improved greatly and its new model the DWX-42W seems quite promising. It is a 4-Axis Wet Dental Mill now offering 6 drill bits instead of four like its predecessor. This increase the options available when milling and carving abilities of the mill.
  • Compared to the DWX-4W, the new model is slightly larger and the milling framework is more firm. It holds 5L of water instead of 4L, and has 2 filters + an additional secondary filter. This all increases the milling ability and helps maintain water cleanliness for longer.
  • Inside the the milling chamber there has also been changes and it looks better overall. The mill overall still has issues with the blocks breaking if the wrong sized blocks are added rather than stopping the milling process. We are told this is because the mill itself does not have any CPU inside of it so it cannot detect the wrong block.
  • This does mean that the mill is generally cheaper than others on the market however.
  • The Roland DWX-52D Dry Mill have also seen changes compared to its predecessor. Notably we are told the drill bits have changed completely and this change means they will last 50x longer. Or so we are told.

Nothing new from other milling machines. More and more distributors are offering the VHF range which seems to show promise as a good third party mill option. The Amann Girrbach Mills were also on show. Nothing new compared to IDS. Fantastic mills overall. 

Our overall impression at this exhibition was that the mills and scanners were taking a back seat to the incredible number of 3D printers on show. By far there were more printers, printing materials and resins compared to anything else. Obviously the direction digital dentistry is going, fast.

3D Printers

FORMLABS

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  • Formlabs have launched a new printer - the Form 3.
  • The Form 3 shows many improvements compared to its predecessor including a completely redesigned resin tank, bigger resin tank volume and overall it seems to be much better and easier to use.
  • Boasting 25 micrometer XY Resolution and Low Force Stereolithography (LFS)
  • We are glad to hear that the resin bottles from the older generation can still be used in the newer printer.
  • It also now connects to the computer via USB connection. 

ASIGA

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  • Widely popular in Europe. The Asiga printers were also very popular with dentists at this exhibition.
  •  Boasting the some of the highest accuracy of any commercial 3D printer 
  • Three main printers on show: the Asiga MAX, Asiga MAX UV (chairside printers) and the Asiga Pro HD (lab printer) 
  • Compared to the others on the market, the Asiga MAX is one of the smallest chairside printers  
  • All Asiga Printers boast an Open Material System, meaning any resin from any suitable 3rd party can be used, unlike most other printers which restrict the use of their own resin only.
  • Similar speeds to Formlabs printers.

NEXTDENT

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  • The NextDent range of printers are some of the most impressive on the market. Boasting some of the fastest printing speeds and largest print platforms
  • Two main printers - the NextDent 5100 (lab) and Fabpro 1000 (chairside). These printers generally are more expensive than others on the market. 
  • Additionally, you will need to invest in the LC-3DPrint Box and LC-3DMixer, making the entire set up more of an investment when compared to others.
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